United action on global scale needed to clinch new climate pact, says Ban
21 December - Acknowledging that the climate change deal reached over the weekend in Copenhagen was not ideal for all nations; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today exhorted world leaders to act in concert to ensure that a legally binding treaty is reached next year.
The political agreement was struck in the Danish capital on Saturday morning after negotiations had come to a standstill, with Mr. Ban intervening at the last minute to assuage nations which felt they had been excluded from parts of the negotiations.
The accord includes an agreement to working towards curbing global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, efforts to reduce or limit emissions, and pledges to mobilize $100 billion a year for developing countries to combat climate change.
“While I am satisfied that we sealed a deal, I am aware that the outcome of the Copenhagen conference, including the Copenhagen Accord, did not go as far as many have hoped,” Mr. Ban told reporters today in New York.
The two-week-long United Nations conference in Copenhagen, attended by 128 heads of State and government, was marked by interruptions in negotiations due to divisions between States over transparency and other issues.
“The leaders were united in purpose, but they were not united in action,” Mr. Ban pointed out today.
Nonetheless, he said that the talks “represent a beginning – an essential beginning,” because without nations hammering out a deal in Copenhagen, the financial and technical support for poorer nations agreed upon would not take immediate effect.
The coming challenge for the UN will be to harness political will and translate it into action, said the Secretary-General, who will set up a high-level panel on development and climate change.
Due to the complexity of the negotiations and the entrenched positions held by many countries, “everybody knew that it would not be an easy task,” he told reporters, emphasizing the importance of taking proactive action to clinch a legally binding pact next year instead of dwelling on the Copenhagen talks.
The accord reached “provides the basis of understanding where the treaty negotiations begin,” Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Planning, said at a press conference in New York.
If the agreement attains the wide support that was indicated by nations in the closing session of the Copenhagen summit, then “you have a real centre of gravity for the treaty negotiations throughout 2010,” he added.